Thanks to Olivier for this editing! It traces the adventure of the Sun Trip Tour 2019 in which he participated with his friend Norbert on a solar tandem.
Christophe Dugué participated in the Sun Trip Tour in 2017, and also in 2019 with his wife Stephanie. His professional world has allowed him to build himself powerful, rigid and lightweight solar panels. Indeed Christophe works at Photowatt, a French manufacturer of panels.
In front of the cameras of France 3, he talks to us about his motivations and his approach, and Stéphanie explains to us how much his solar bike helped her in the ascent of the big alpine passes.
Parcourir les Alpes ou pourquoi pas rouler jusqu'à l'autre bout du monde en toute autonomie dans des conditions plus écologiques qu'en voiture ou en camping car, c'est l'avantage du vélo électrique solaire. Christophe Dugué s'est lancé en participant au Sun Trip, une course à vélo solaire unique au monde. #pourlaplanète The Sun Trip
Publiée par France 3 Régions sur Mercredi 20 novembre 2019
On July 16th, after the Mont Cenis pass, the challenge of the best climber of the Sun Trip Tour was held at the Finestre pass in Italy. Find the emotion of the moment thanks to the report produced by Agence Zeppelin!
A video where we find all the riders of EDF Énergies Rouvelables who participated in the Sun Trip Tour 2019 (realization by the organizing team of Sun Trip):
A video made by the organization team of the Sun Trip:
The photo album of the 9th day of the Sun trip Tour 2019: departure from the Bourg-Saint-Maurice campsite, stop at Val d'Isère in the electric and hybrid vehicle show, memorable meal between suntripeurs, ascent to the Iseran pass, beautiful descent to Lanslebourg Val Cenis and welcome to the cottage!
Pictures + short videos:
Find the images of the adventures of the 7th day of the Sun trip Tour 2019: the quiet journey with Ralf, Divonne-les-Bains to Sallanches where Jean joined us, and after Sallanches, the course of the day which switches after an unfortunate passage at a bike shop, the necessary break at a village party, and the late arrival in Chamonix due to technical problems.
It was the 6th day of the Sun trip Tour 2019, we all had the goal of arriving at Divonne-les-Bains in the afternoon: the soft morning light on the church of Villars-les-Dombes, meetings in Pont-d'Ain: Béatrice and Yannick, Antoine, Arnaud, Laurent and Corentin with their vintage tandem, the deep color of Lake Nantua …
Find all the atmosphere of the first day of the Sun trip Tour 2019 in the photo album of July 6th: the presentation of the bikes on the place of the Town Hall of Puy-en-Velay, the first kilometers through the landscapes of the Haute-Loire, the valley of Allier until Saint-Flour.
Pictures + short videos:
A concentrate of Sun Trip Tour seen by the Zeppelin agency.
A big thank you to Sammy, Bruno and Julien for this video that sublimates this collective adventure in beautiful landscapes of the Auvergne and the Alps!
This Sun Trip Tour 2019 was slightly sportier than the 2017 edition, a little more kilometers and more altitude. But everyone had the freedom to choose the easiest or most difficult routes. And the suntripers who dreamed of winning the challenge of the best climber had to blow up their counters, especially for the elevations more than for the distances! For me, the routes were constrained by the different repairs to be done more by the sporting challenges. But I still managed to pass passes deemed difficult, such as the Col de Finestre and Col d'Agnel, with beautiful landscapes.
The after Sun Trip Tour: from Valence to Dijon via Châlon-sur-Saône
On July 20th, I leave Valence in TER to join Châlon-sur-Saône. I use the idea that guided the design of my solar vehicle: to take the train. Principles: – a standard bike is always accepted in the TER and in some TGV, – the trailer is acceptable with the panel vertically, it does not take more space than a bike. For the moment, I have taken the train a dozen times in France and Switzerland, I have never been opposed to refusal.
If necessary, we can reduce the length by sliding the 3rd panel on the 2nd, in less than 10 minutes.
In some trains (TGV and Lyria), we can create the equivalent of a cover with trash bags and big scotch (and for the bike, disassembly of the wheels, and when I have the time, pedals and handlebars before putting it in a bag).
July 21, I finish cycling back to Dijon, at 34 km/h average speed.
Sun Trip Tour 2019 – 7th day
We start from Divonne-les-Bains in procession, then we scatter each at our own pace. Some choose the main route with a simple route, others prefer the route drawn by Vécolo, on small roads with calmer traffic, but more tortuous. The sun is full, and our batteries remain 100% charged throughout the day.
At the end of the afternoon, telling a bike shop, I decided to have my rear derailleur adjusted. But bad luck gets involved: the young mechanic can not do it, too bad, I'm leaving. But I will discover a few miles later that the controller does not work anymore: I can not change gears. It's past 7pm, the store no longer answers the phone. I have the morale in the socks because we have to attack a long coast to Chamonix. Ralf and Jean cheer me up, they will accompany me to destination whatever happens. By hand, I install the chain on the largest pinion and we begin the climb. Halfway through, a village party allows us to regain strength. We arrive at the cottage around 21:20 where we will be greeted by the cheers of other sun-trapters!
SunTripTour2019 – July 11th, 6th day In the crossing of the Dombes until the Ain, I appreciated the adobe buildings (groomed earth in a banche) and in the walls, the use of the pebbles in a decorative way in association with the brick. This morning, veiled sun, the panels produce 50W, it is necessary to roll with precaution, not to push the assistance. The improvement of the mid-day does not continue the afternoon, too bad! The itinerary prepared by Vécolo, through fields and woods, is very pleasant. But after a few kilometers of chaotic dirt road along a river, we decide to find a more rolling track. The Komoot application takes us on small roads without traffic, it's a treat. And this is how we find Olivier and Norbert, Catherine and Jean-Michel, who also use this application. Arrival in Divonne-les-Bains: Ann, Peter and I arrive together, we are interviewed by a lady very interested in our bikes; she posts her video immediately on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzx3cZ9Hu0q/?igshid=bxqo5bharnzh Thanks to the city of Divonne-les-Bains for giving us this hearty meal! PS: surprise at 3am: automatic watering starts on the beach, it's panic in the camp. Norbert and Olivier are the most affected, their duvets sound soaked. Benoit takes a laugh. Bikes have nothing. I am relieved because in a half sleep, the crackling of jets made me think of a battery fire.
Sun Trip Tour 2019 – July 10, Day 5 A day like the others: this morning, the attachment of my trailer broke (Dirke had noted this weak point while examining my bike), it is normal, the diameter of the bolt was too weak. I continued to Villefranche-sur-Saone by fixing the drawbar with 2 Rilsan (these necklaces are great!). Finally, I imagined a solution that will be more durable, I hope: at a garage I soldered the fastener directly on the wheel nut. Thanks to this welder who saved me! I make a break for various repairs and suddenly, I drive little: 25 km in the morning and 30 km in the evening. Cherry on the cake: I have new shoes, it's great because by dint of braking with the feet, the others had more sole! Life is beautiful …… until tomorrow! And tomorrow, what will be the challenge, the problem situation?
4th day of the Sun Trip Tour: 9th of July A beautiful morning at the Vulcania Park, the public discovered all the prototypes of solar bikes, we took advantage of the Park's animations. Special mention for the packed lunch with local and artisan dishes served in glass containers. Departure by caravan then the 55 participants scattered to follow varied routes: we have indeed 3 days to arrive at Divonne-les-bains, about 325 km. I traced straight through Thiers where I met Christophe Bayard and Silvia Plozner. Thanks to a faithful sun throughout the day, I managed to reach L'Arbresle at 20:30, after 187km of road. Nice day, the heat wave has finally left it helps to pedal! https://www.relive.cc/view/2518501243
Sun Trip Tour – July 8, 2019: Everyone cares about this day of 120 km with a lot of elevation. Me, I have other concerns, in the first place, my brake pads that weaken again: after an hour of driving, I am forced to brake with feet to go down to Condat! Fortunately, Gilbert and Jean de Vécolo are waiting for me: they have been warned of my worries by my friends. Thanks to them, I can find in Super-Besse 3 pairs of pads of the right model! I warmly thank Fred of VTT ÉVASION for having kept in his store these plates became vintage today. Thanks to Vécolo's friends without whom rescue would not have been possible! But another surprise awaits me: my solar panels no longer produce 1 Watt! I put 1 hour to find the fault: the fuses of my solar regulators melted to the heat. I beckon on the side of the road, it is Gisele who saves me by offering me two beautiful new fuses. Thank you Gisele! It is almost 13:30 and I have 100 km and a lot of altitude! I will arrive at my destination at 8 pm, in extremis for the meal!
Sun Trip Tour- July 7, 2019
Today, the stage in Cantal is short, without significant elevation. We cross wild landscapes, villages with old houses in volcanic stone in various shades, from warm brown to gray. I think of the times when these villages were populated and productive, around agriculture, handicrafts and small industries. My bike pulls me from my daydreams, he recalls to me: the brakes work less and less well, despite the pad sanding done this morning. I am forced to brake with the foot and it heats strongly in the shoe!
In the evening, we all meet for a bivouac around the lake of Cascades Cheylade. While the sun recharges our batteries, swimming refreshes us and allows us to do a bit of washing. The day ends with a dinner on the terrace of a restaurant at the lake, in a cheerful atmosphere.
Sun Trip Tour – July 6, 2019
After the speech of the elected officials and Florian Bailly, this is the long-awaited departure: we jump on the road, impatient, some are wrong itinerary, retrace their steps. Finally, we drive through these landscapes of Haute-Loire, between woods, moors and fields … Wild and rough atmosphere. Suddenly arise basaltic organs at the bottom of the valley of the Allier. Further on, there are other groups of sun-trapers, stopped around a beer. At the end of the day, the campsite welcomes cyclists who are tired and happy.
Sun Trip Tour – July 6, 2019
We are 55 solar cyclists to start this morning from Le Puy-en-Velay: each suntripeur installs his solar bike on the Place de l'Hotel de Ville in an atmosphere of excitement and enthusiasm . A great animation reigns, the exchanges with the public are rich, the passionate conversations …
Speech of elected officials, presentation of the Sun Trip by Florian Bailly:
A beautiful atmosphere of enthusiasm, sharing with the public. The happiness of finally embarking on this adventure, to finally take the road after months of work, preparation, tests, joys, disappointments sometimes and always creativity!
In May: first technical test outlets to bring out any weaknesses of design, make improvements that will then be tested in turn (~ 1000 km approximately).
In June: outings to train the cyclist and test the machine on long journeys(~ 2600 km approximately).
Preparing for the Sun Trip Tour – June 14
Today, I begin my journey back to France, while Daniele stays here, in Italy. I start the day by misleading myself. When I realize it, I say "not serious, in a few kilometers, I'll be on the right track again". But suddenly, I have to climb, climb, climb a terribly steep coast that never ends. The engine heats up! And at each turn of the road, inscriptions painted on the parapets and the road itself. I will know later that the Giro 2018 has been there: 3 km to 11%.
But I am rewarded for this unexpected detour: arrived on the ridge, I have a magnificent view of the Tagliamo valley and its turquoise waters.
Further, I take this beautiful bike path, from Campiolo to Tarvisio, on an old railway. Very gentle climb in the greenery, punctuated by refreshing tunnels, bridges with impressive panoramas, dotted with abandoned railway stations.
After Tarvisio, a few more kilometers and you have to think about finding a campsite. I have to climb and sweat to find a nice campsite. Campers are interested in my solar bike, beer and friendliness are waiting for you!
Sun trip tour preparation – June 13
After a 1500 km journey, we are now entitled to a well-deserved rest day, right? Daniele offers me to go to the sea, to Grado precisely. The idea pleases me, here we go, with our solar bikes lightened weight luggage. In the morning freshness, we go on country roads and bike paths. We cross Palmanova, an amazing star-shaped fortified town with 9 branches, surrounded by moats, built at the end of the 16th century. Monumental doors allow us to enter and exit.
Shortly before Grado, we go along the lagoon for several kilometers in a wind carrying marine fragrances. The sea is coming! Swimming and lunch. Back to town pace, pushed by a friendly wind. Stop at Aquileia which was one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire. We admire the Byzantine basilica founded at the beginning of the 4th century, which houses Romanesque frescoes from the 12th century, while enjoying ice cream and pastry ….
Review of the day: 150 km traveled at 27 km / h, charging 660 Wh (the battery remains full!)